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WHAT IS YOUR DOG DOING? by Marilyn Singer


by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Kathleen Habbley

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7931-9
Publisher: Atheneum

Snappy illustrations and a short, rhyming text depict a collection of canines in humorous activities from dreaming and scheming to shedding and sledding in this fetching story suitable as a read-aloud for young children or for newly independent readers.

The patterned text uses just a few words per page to describe each dog’s behavior or condition, with the appealing pups alternating between playful or mischievous activities and useful ones. Several specific canine breeds are shown engaging in their own specialty: a German shepherd as a police dog and a border collie herding sheep, for example. A few of the canine behaviors will need explanation by an adult, such as “dog wired” for an overactive pup or “dog in disgrace” for a dog who has tracked mud into the house. The collie in the “famous dog that gets chauffeured” illustration will be recognizable to those who grew up with black-and-white TV, but probably not to today’s children. Each of these illustrations provides an opportunity for discussion, however, introducing rich vocabulary into a super-short text. Computer-generated art from first-time illustrator Habbley uses a contemporary palette and crisp graphics to provide jazzy images of the adorable dogs. From a tiny Chihuahua “snug in a purse” to a huge St. Bernard, each dog has an engaging face and expression.

Amiable and entertaining, just like a well-behaved canine companion.

(Picture book. 3-7)